Track: Nashville Superspeedway
Race: Tennessee Lottery 250
Date: June 19, 2021
No. 22 CarShop Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 1st (Seventh Stage Win of 2021)
Stage 2: 8th
Laps Completed: 160/189
Laps Led: 53
Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+90)
Austin Cindric scored his seventh stage victory of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season but was sidelined by an accident late in the Tennessee Lottery 250 Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway. The accident left Cindric with a 32nd-place finish. He remains the series points leader, 90 markers ahead of second-place AJ Allmendinger.
Cindric qualified second on Saturday morning and Stage 1 couldn’t have gone better for the defending series champion. He took the lead on the first lap, leading all 45 laps in Stage 1. Throughout the opening run, Cindric said his Mustang could use more turn, but he was able to maintain the lead and score the stage win. During the stage caution crew chief Brian Wilson called for an air pressure adjustment plus four tires and fuel. Excellent work by the CarShop team on pit road kept Cindric in the lead when the race went green on lap 53.
But Stage 2 saw Cindric’s fortunes slowly begin the turn. He said the balance of the No. 22 Mustang was building loose and as a result he lost the lead. Cindric was credited with an eighth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 90. Wilson once again called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments and Cindric restarted ninth on lap 96.
The Mooresville N.C., native steadily worked his way back inside the top-five but the balance on the CarShop Ford was still a handful. The fourth caution on lap 142 gave Wilson an opportunity to pit for four tires and major chassis adjustments. Cindric restarted ninth on lap 148 and was up to eighth when the fifth caution slowed the pace on lap 156. The race went green on lap 159 with Cindric dicing for position just behind the leaders. One lap later Michael Annett and Daniel Hemic made contact just ahead of Cindric at the exit of Turn 4. Cindric dove low in an effort to miss the incident but was clipped in the right-rear by Annett and pushed into the outside wall near the start-finish line, ending his afternoon. He was credited with a 32nd-place finish in the final rundown.
Quote: “I wish we would have been able to regain our track position there a little bit better. That’s probably the only thing we could have done to avoid getting wrecked there. I drove all the way down to the grass and got right-reared and went head-on into the wall. It’s unfortunate for our Car Shop Ford Mustang. We had some speed early and were trying to recover. We got out of the groove there for a while and thought we were making some gains. We learned a lot today, but it’s a shame. Every time we get up to a 100-point lead, we end up getting wrecked. It’s frustrating, but that’s racing. There’s nothing you can do.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!